Bayern Munich dispatched TSG Hoffenheim 2-0 at the PreZero Arena in a game that saw few highlights apart from the goals, which came from Jamal Musiala and the in-form Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting. The Bavarians went full on power-saving mode in this game, but got the job done as their penultimate Champions League group stage match against FC Barcelona looms large. Let’s look at the talking points in today’s cruise control of a game.
Defense was on point
Despite Hoffenheim not offering much threat, the defense did a great job of shutting down any attack from the Sinsheim-based team. Dayot Upamecano and Matthijs de Ligt were solid in the center, while Alphonso Davies and Benjamin Pavard were also good. Davies seems to have found his best form as of late because he was all over the left side, wiggling out of tight spaces in defense and in attack. Upamecano was a rock in the middle, not letting Hoffenheim get anything from their attacks. Add a fit Lucas Hernandez to Bayern’s roster of center-backs and you’ve got yourselves a group of the best defenders in Europe.
Choupo-GOATing, ‘nuff said
The man, the myth, the legend; he has been a different gravy ever since he was reintroduced to the team. In the past three games – including today – Choupo-Moting has scored four goals and proved that he has the chops to be the starting striker. It turns out that in-house options shouldn’t be overlooked as the Cameroonian turned in another solid performance.
All of this looks rather unfortunate for Mathys Tel, whom Bayern signed to play as striker but sits behind Mane and Choupo in the pecking order. Tel at least doesn’t grumble about lack of playing time.
Enigmatic player performances
All of the players have had differing performances today. The defense as I said was good and Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka were solid in midfield. On the other hand, Jamal Musiala had a rare off game (I blame France Football and Tuttosport) and Sadio Mane has once again proved that he can’t play well as a lone striker. Oh yeah, he’s been flagged offside as well.
Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry were mostly hit and miss, but Gnabry consistently shooting straight at Oliver Baumann and making the wrong choices in attack makes him a standout for all the wrong reasons. Apart from assisting Choupo’s goal, Gnabry hasn’t really done anything else. The subs didn’t have much of an impact unless they were instructed to control the game and not bother getting another goal.
process second stringers
The back-up/rotation players and subs in the game were mostly quiet, but they were efficient at keeping Hoffenheim at bay. It goes to show that Julian Nagelsmann is starting to become more comfortable using players he doesn’t usually work with. With many first team players out for various reasons, it was the shadow team’s chance to show why they play for Bayern Munich. Managing to keep a clean sheet against a top 4 team is no easy feat, and Bayern’s team of reserves did just that.
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